Health Canada approved the drug Mifegymiso, a two-drug combination product that provides a non-surgical option for early abortion, in July 2015. Mifegyimso became available to the Canadian public in January 2017.
Information provided by the manufacturer and Health Canada regarding the prescribing and dispensing of the drug was unclear, potentially impacting patient access to therapy. The product monograph states: “Mifepristone should be administered under the supervision of the prescriber”. Interpretation of these provisions of the product monograph, together with documents in support of the product monograph, have varied in Canada and other jurisdictions around the world. This has resulted in confusion among prescribers.
The Council of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia at its May 26 meeting approved a new Professional Standard Regarding Prescribing Mifegymiso. The standard sets out the professional obligations when prescribing Mifegymiso.
“If the requirements for prescribing this medication are met, physicians can provide a prescription to their patients to be filled at the pharmacy of their choice. Physicians are not required to dispense nor witness the ingestion of this medication,” said Dr. Gus Grant, Registrar and CEO of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia.
Health Canada has mandated physicians prescribing Mifegymiso must complete training to do so. A mandatory education program has been developed by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, the College of Family Physicians of Canada, and the Canadian Pharmacists Association. The free course is available to physicians and pharmacists through the e-learning portal of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada.
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College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia